International Private Client
Kobre & Kim provides offensive and defensive cross-border litigation and crisis management strategies to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) with global business interests, to preserve their assets, liberty and reputation. Our team of former U.S. government lawyers and commercial litigators have a proven track record of coordinating multijurisdictional offensive, counter-offensive and defensive strategies on behalf of international private clients in anticipation, or as a result of, high-stakes civil and criminal proceedings and investigations aimed at asset forfeiture or confiscation. Our multidimensional approach to UHNWI disputes, which includes deployment of both in-court and out-of-court strategies, is the premier solution for resolving business disputes and sovereign-driven investigations, tracing and recovering misappropriated funds, defending against asset attacks, as well as acquiring and strategically deploying information to provide UHNWIs with a commercial advantage in their disputes and investigations.
Tailored Global Network
Kobre & Kim has strategically positioned our lawyers across the world to solve our clients’ unique problems. Our global team includes more than two dozen former U.S. government lawyers, offshore lawyers, Hong Kong solicitors, as well as English solicitors and barristers (including two English Queen’s Counsel). Most of our cases are cross-border in nature and require regular interface with local regulators around the world.
Conflict-Free, Special Counsel Model
We focus exclusively on serving as special counsel in discrete engagements and regularly work in tandem with family offices, financial advisers and transactional counsel, who serve as longstanding advisers to clients facing these kinds of high-stakes proceedings and investigations. This model allows us to:
- Uphold the highest level of confidentiality;
- Take aggressive positions against financial institutions involved in complex trust and estate structures; and
- Litigate issues such as unlawfully frozen assets, breach of fiduciary duty and misuse of trust assets — where other law firms are likely to have competing interests.
We offer integrated strategic counsel in situations involving a mix of civil, criminal and regulatory issues, and develop strategies that exploit both the pitfalls and opportunities that arise in these parallel actions. Such complex matters often require diverse services and regions of focus. Our international private client team is comprised of both former U.S. government lawyers and commercial litigators; and we regularly counsel UHNWIs in matters involving combinations of trusts and estates counsel, joint venture disputes, financial disputes, contentious insolvencies, international asset tracing and recovery initiatives, investigations and enforcement actions, among other areas.
- Representation of an ultra-high-net worth businessman in coordinating global counter-offensive litigation and reputation management strategies across the UK, Israel, the U.S., Switzerland, and Brazil to combat substantial commercial litigation attacks and government investigations worth over US $1.7 billion in claims.
- Representation of a prominent European businessperson in exploring offensive litigation strategies against adversaries who were conducting a derogatory public relations campaign by alleging the client's involvement in a money laundering investigation being conducted by Spanish authorities, as well as deploying various reputation management efforts to aid the client's factual and legal defenses.
- Representation of two Russian businessmen in pursuing claims worth over US $1 billion in New York State court related to breach of a joint venture and similar causes of action in a longstanding, multi-party natural resources dispute.
- Representation of a billionaire and his international company in efforts to freeze assets in support of a contemplated award of €1 billion arising out of a joint venture dispute with a Middle Eastern investor, which involved obtaining a freezing order from the High Court in London of bank accounts believed to be held in the UK.
- Representation of a Russian investor in assessing claims to recover an investment against the guarantor of notes issued by an investment firm now subject to insolvency in the Cayman Islands, in which the guarantor’s assets have been frozen by the Russian Federation in the Cyprus branch of a Russian bank.
- Representation of the beneficiaries of several large family trusts in providing strategic advice in the context of divorce proceedings between the settlor of the trust and his wife, which involves active monitoring of multijurisdictional proceedings and strategic insertion of counter-offensive strategies to strengthen the clients’ position.
- Representation of an executive of a Latin American company in a dispute to enforce contractual rights to obtain information from and veto certain corporate actions of the company, which involved litigation in the British Virgin Islands, New York State Supreme Court, and a potential International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration.
- Representation of the daughter of a prominent media mogul in developing and implementing a strategic asset tracing plan regarding monies believed to have been moved by the individual's now ex-spouse through the Cayman Islands and other offshore jurisdictions.
- Representation of a private client in a matrimonial dispute to review the factual discovery and develop strategies for tracing client’s former spouse's assets in select jurisdictions.
- Representation of private client in enforcing a US $100 million judgment against a Middle East-based high-net-worth individual for discrediting a loan agreement.
- Representation of a Russian businessman in commencing a civil suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in opposition of a politically motivated attempt to hold our client liable for tens of millions of US dollars of alleged loans, in which we obtained summary judgment denying our client’s obligation to satisfy the debt.
- Representation of a European individual in defending against the enforcement of a foreign judgment entered in the New York Supreme Court for approximately US $378 million in relation to allegations of both civil and criminal fraud.
- Representation of Brazilian parties subject to seizure of their UK-based assets and in establishing an asset repatriation mechanism involving the UK, Jersey, Switzerland and Brazil.
- Representation of an Asian businessman in the potential filing of a U.S. asylum application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in light of potential U.S. extradition proceedings requested by an Asian government alleging the perpetration of a large-scale fraud scheme.
- Representation of a Russian billionaire in a dispute over shares in British Virgin Islands companies concerning major Russian energy interests.
- Representation of wealthy Central American family on issues related to cross border implications of a politically motivated prosecution in their home country. The repercussions included an offshore asset freeze.
- Representation of Jho Low, an international businessman, in global legal matters arising out of the “1MDB” matter, which involve criminal charges and civil asset forfeiture proceedings brought by the DOJ, as well as additional legal action from authorities located in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and various other countries, involving several billions USD in controversy. We have resisted ongoing forfeiture and confiscation efforts for several years, and engaged in counter-offensive litigation in the Cayman Islands and New Zealand to secure more favorable positioning for the family’s assets.
- Representation of two Russian businessmen in connection with an investigation by Russian authorities into the Russia-based financial institutions founded by our clients. The Russian Federation is making numerous politically motivated legal assistance requests against our clients around the world in both onshore (e.g., the U.S.) and offshore (Mauritius and the Cook Islands) jurisdictions. We are coordinating the global defense of those requests. We are also acting as counsel in an ongoing civil case in the U.S., as well as implementing defensive strategies, including a “clean funds” analysis, with respect to cross-border asset forfeiture proceedings.
- Representation of several executives of Unaoil, a company operating in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, in providing a strategy to release and protect assets in the U.S., the UK, the Cayman Islands and several other offshore jurisdictions in light of a foreign bribery investigation being conducted by the DOJ and UK authorities. In a major victory for our clients, our firm secured an order from a court in an offshore jurisdiction allowing for the replacement of the trustee at the request of the trust settlor and the distribution of once frozen funds.
- Representation of the former ruling family of an African country in defending against attempts to seize US $1 billion+ allegedly stolen from the national treasury through corrupt oil contracts, litigated in various European courts.
- Representation of Thaksin Sinawatra, a former prime minister of Thailand, in international corruption investigations in the Middle East and Asia and in associated dealings with the U.S. government.
- Representation of members of a Latin American family in undertaking a “clean funds” analysis of financial assets and analysis of the legal exposure of assets located in Panama and elsewhere in the context of asset forfeiture litigation.
- Representation of a well-known, high-level former Brazilian political figure charged in the U.S. with fraud related offenses in negotiating with the New York District Attorney's Office concerning offshore trust structures related to the client's business interests.